OPTIMAL SYNTHESIS INC.
Trajectory-based operations constitute a key mechanism considered by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) for managing traffic in high-density or high-complexity airspace in the Next-Generation Air Transportation System. With this concept applied to surface operations at major airports, the Safe and Efficient Surface Operations (SESO) Research Focus Area (RFA) of NASA's NextGen-Airportal Project has been exploring the use of surface 4-dimensional (4D) trajectories. 4D trajectories use required times of arrival at selected locations along the route. To assure safe operations, it is important to understand the implications of such 4D trajectories as to how the complete resulting trajectories would interact between flights, including all points between locations where RTAs are specified. The conclusions will depend heavily on the specific operational concept, including how a flight is expected to control its operation to achieve the RTAs, and whether additional self-separation control is made available. Assumption on the level and nature of automation available for taxi control will dictate how tightly the air navigation service provider can plan the surface traffic. Consideration of 4D trajectories is proposed to design conflict detection and resolution functions in trajectory-based operational environments. The study will consider pertinent sources or errors including surveillance, navigation, control-automation, pilot effects, etc. In this context, availability of feedback and high-precision control can theoretically reduce the uncertainty associated with trajectory prediction. Recently developed flight-deck automation systems will be used in conjunction with high-fidelity aircraft simulation for the study. Analysis or surveillance and navigation error sources will help to characterize these systems? uncertainties, upon which algorithms, requirements, and metrics for taxi trajectory predictions, alert rates, conformance monitoring, and conflict detection will be based, A rigorous approach will be developed to perform conflict detection and resolution and to analyze the performance,. The resulting software will be integrated with NASA software platforms including the Surface Management System and the Airspace Target Generator. The deliverables will be bi-monthly progress reports and a software delivery and final report at the 12 month point.